Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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3,524 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,524
Hads: 11,305
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 498
Gots: 2,344 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,524 | Hads: 11,305
Photo of Theheroguy
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow this is great beer, very rich and complex I regret having waited so long to try it.

In terms of appearance it's everything a stout should be deep black with an enduring and respectable but not thick head.

This beer is like drinking a malty dark chocolate bar. The malt and some fruitiness are first flavors you taste but the rich chocolate quickly assumes its role. This beer is seriously delicious.

The only thing bad about this beer is that is smells incredibly boozy. The 9% alcohol is hidden from the tongue but not from your nose.

It is expensive but well worth the price.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours think like motor oil. So black it's like staring into a black hole. A nice three finger milk chocolate colored head. Some lacing, but honestly it's as if the beer would rather cling to ITSELF than the glass.

S - Nice weighty aroma of burnt grains, charcoal, molasses, wood. Tantalizing.

T - A complex blend of dark cocoa nubs, brown sugar, burnt toast, charcoal, raisins, and espresso, with a refreshing bit of bitterning hops coming out right at the end. Yes, you can actually taste the hops in this stout. What a concept! Alcohol carries all the way through, becoming more present as it warms, and the aftertaste of bitter hops and chocolate goes on for what seems like days. Stunning.

M- Velvety and chewy. Low carbination suits the taste elements and alcohol content perfectly. Finishes slightly dry.

O - This is one amazing stout, and one of the more complex I have tasted. The extra hopping really adds something that many stouts are missing in my opinion. If you truly enjoy big, slightly boozy blasts of dark/burnt/bitter flavors, this one is for you! Highly recommended.

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

-pitch black with a light brown head
-very roasted grains with a noticeable warmth
-big an thick beer complex but alot fo burnt grains alcohol maybe slight coco and coffee, the high abv instantly warms the body and mouth
- thick thick thick with the alcohol warmth
- great beer my favorite north coast beer and Russian imperial

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Photo of DUBinMIA
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

served out of the bottle into a pint glass. pours dark black with a tan foamy head about 2 in. thick. head reduces to 1/2 in. thick foam remain. exceptionally thick lace remains as well.

dark roasted malt and chocolate with a hint of hop notes and slight alcohol to finish.

initial strong malt and immediate coffee flavor. then sweetens again and finished with floral like hops. very complex and very good!!

full bodied as to be expected. thick and rich flavors just mellow on the pallet.

very good beer!! MUST TRY!!!

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Photo of NWer
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle aggressively poured into a Weizen glass.
Very dark to black color with beautiful head retention.
This is a beer to savor slowly - if possible. The high alcohol content gives it an extra kick to add to the fun without distracting from the taste. A fun stout that is reasonably priced.
High marks on all categories.

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Photo of Amgarnier
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark black just as expected with a creamy brown head. Limited lacing.

S: Coffee with hints of dark fruit, sweet malty notes and a hint of hops.

T: caramel malts with a hint of chocolate a little bit of a butter taste. Plenty of coffee and some hops to balance it out.

O: impressive imperial stout. Strong flavors with lots of alcohol.

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Photo of gtermi
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This is a very nice looking beer. I pour the beer out of a 12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. The beer is a very blackish brown with a three finger head that is dark tan. The beer fades rather quickly and leaves a lot of lace on the glass.

S: The smell of this beer is very pleasant. To me there isn't as much booze as I was expecting. It is strong in chocolate, coffee and even a little liquorice. It also has a foresty wood smell with roasted malt.

T: Wow! There are almost no words for how amazing this beer is. The first few seconds you get a strong amount of roasted malt and then as the beer lingers you start to get several different flavors, like chocolate and coffee. Its just amazing.

M: This is a very nice feeling beer. It burns the tongue a tiny bit on the tongue and the back of the throat, but for as high of alcohol, it is very nice. It isnt the smoothest or best feeling RIS, but it doesn't take away from the beer at all.

O: I have had this several times and it just seems to get better and better the more I have it. The taste is top notch and few compare. One of the best quality to price beers you can possibly get on the market.

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Photo of buckiflyer
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the beer alcohol limit being raised in NC Old Rasputin is no available at Whole Foods, purchased a bottle for $2.50. Poured a midnight black color with a huge head. Rasberry and chocolate smell. Smooth taste was a big surprise, hints of chocolate and coffee flavor, a great heavy mouthfeel, alcohol aftertaste is noticable. Long lasting head with lacing. This is good stuff, I can't wait to share with my father next time he is in town.

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Photo of Army
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

a: Head builds to a ¼ inch of rusty tan foam and is sustained throughout drinking. A lacy network of foam surrounds the glass as the black fluid is drained. Numerous large bubbles continue to feed into the head throughout.

s: Sweet chocolate caramel aroma predicts the flavors to follow.

t: Coffee and chocolate flavors dominate the flavor with sweet caramel backgrounds. There is a bitterness and bite to this brew that is well balanced by the malty sweetness.

m: Big bubbles and very full body contribute to the velvet smooth feel.

d: Bitter coffee aftertaste leaves you wanting another drink. Its warm and enticing flavor and feel are perfect for a cold winter night. A very hardy beer of sustenance.

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Photo of lou50rp
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has a very dark, almost black color with a nice head of khaki, which lasts.
Smell is of dark chocolate and black cherries.
Taste is as promised by the smell. No alcohol taste and little bitterness.
Feels really good in the mouth, thick and creamy.
Very drinkable beer even with the 9.0 ABV. One of my favorite beers at any time.

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Photo of jjchristiano
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into my Duvel Tulip.
Took bottle out of fridge a good half hour ago.
Man I love this beer. A very very easy drinking 9% ABV Russian Imperial Stout.
I liked it so much I dont have any more to sip and make additional comments. Only bought a single in a mix-a-sixpack. Will buy a 4? or 6? pack next time I see it.

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Photo of WilliamD
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've had this one many times, and I finally decided to review it.
Pours black into my pint glass. Nice, eighth-inch tan head that remains throughout.
Smells of coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolate.
Taste is astounding, but I of course already knew that. Coffee grounds, chocolate, malts- rich and complex and delicious. Alcohol is well-hidden.
Mouthfeel is perfect, in my opinion. Smooth, creamy, with perfect balance of carbonation and bitterness. Slight alcohol warming.
The drinkability on this one is very good- as I said, it's well-hidden, and I have drank all four in the past and still made it to work on time with only a mild headache.
This is still one of my favorite imperial stouts. I'd love to some day get ahold of the XI or the Anniversary Barrel-Aged.

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Photo of Lolli1315
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Opaque black with a three finger head that looks as if cream were poured in the beer because of the nitrogen used on tap. If people think that Guiness looks good, they should take a gander at this.

S- Large amounts of roasted malts present with a coffee background and somewhat of a bitter chocolate finish. Alcohol is present, but not overpowering as I find usual with good Russian Imperial Stout.

T- Wow, this beer takes the ordinary Old Rasputin and puts it on steroids for me. Would rather give this somewhere between a 4.5 and a 5 as I feel the need to show what I think is a better beer. Roasted malts and a coffee taste dominate with dark, smooth chocolate finishing out the rear. Just enough kick from the hops to make this an excellent beer.

M- Cannot get much better than this. Full bodied and chewy mouthfeel with a much more fluid and smooth body provided from the nitrogen. Cannot emphasize how smooth this beer is and the degree it adds to every sip.

D- Before I knew it, I looked down to see this beer already gone, and wanting much more. My wallet could take a beating if this was on tap regularly.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. stubby bottle poured into a glass.

Appearnce is opaque black with a small brown head with average retention. Aroma is strong coffee and espresso notes. Some citrus and lemongrass notes also come in in smaller amounts. Taste hits with rich espresso and black coffee notes. There is a good hop character that adds some nicely balanced citrus notes. Some slight dark fruit sweetness is also mildly present. Complex yet extraordinarily well balanced. Mouthfeel is full bodied with strong carbonation. Despite a high ABV and rich flavors, this is drinkable. The booze is well hidden and the flavor does not tire.

Overall, a great, rich, complex, balanced RIS. A classic in my book.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with tan head and tons of lacing on sides of Stone IRS tulip.

Smell is toasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. There is also a nice hoppy citrus in the background too.

Taste is sweet toasted malt up front. There is tons of chocolate and coffee flavor. Nice citrus begins to come through as it warms up. There is so much complexity here that I have trouble describing it.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with good carbonation.

Overall this is fantastic. One of my new favorites.

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Photo of BrianGaynor
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first official review, so bear with me.

Appearance: pours completely jet black with a two finger tan head. Very thick pour. I personally love a thick beer so this has a lot of appeal to me.

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate, a bit of vanilla maybe?

Taste: this doesn't hit like some of the 9.0% beers I've had in the past. Really pleasing taste of roasted malts and hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: as said earlier, this beer is thick. You can really feel the thickness, but it still goes down smooth.

Overall: this beer is pretty good, I am going to enjoy drinking the other three in the pack.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Into the tulip

A - Almost impermeable brown, like black, 1.5 inch mocha head, small bubble thin but coating lacing.

S - Burnt malt, coffee, a bit of a funky kind of smell, too.

T- Big blast of sweet and bitter/burnt malt, nice, nice balance.

M - Great carb, balance so good, creamy too.

D- ok, yeah, this one could hurt you, it's so good.

A new stout favorite, for sure!

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Photo of JamesS
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an excellent deep black with wonderful tan head and very nice lacing. Excellent deep malty scent with wonderfully huge roasted grain aromas and a slight hint of chocolate. Excellent taste, with a huge malt kick, wonderful roasted grains, a small chocolate hit at the end, and a nice hit of hops that comes through just a bit at the end as well; no alcohol tinge, either, which was a huge bonus. Went down entirely too smooth for such a high ABV brew.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review from notes on 10/23/09. On tap at MacGregor's.

A - Very dark brown/black with garnet hues in the light. Tan head with excellent lacing and retention. 4.5

S - Lots of roasted malt, caramel, and vanilla. Hint of fruitiness and expresso too. 4.5

T - Hint of blackberry and lots of toasted malt. Caramel and vanilla apparent in the finish. 4.5

M - Medium bodied, extremely smooth. Velvety, yes indeed. 5.0

D - I need this. Now. All frickin night. Sex in my mouth please. 5.0

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Photo of tavernjef
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Solid black, black as a moonless night....one finger high head of super lumpy, solid crunchy top, but also looks fluffy and light, tan in color, leaves some spotty lace patches. Smell, dead on, is a great sweet dark chocolatey aroma with notes of dark fruit - banana, starfruit, mango, strawberry, and black cherry all noted. Taste is a swirling light chocolate, sweet and dark smoothness throughout, yum. Nice twinged hops in the finish that brings out just the right bitterness and dryness to say hello kindly and leave you with a smile. Feel is full and creamy with a way easy smoothness that makes this a amazingly drinkable stout. North Coast has a winner here.

Thanks to Feloniousmonk for serving this up. YUM!!!

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer twice today, once on-tap at a restaurant (too cold, served in a pint glass), once at home (warmer 12 oz. bottle poured to pint glass). Reviews would be similar, tho at home was the better version: warmer = more taste & aroma.

A: Almost perfectly black, with the faintest hints of copper red at the edges. One finger light tan-colored head. A beautiful stout.

S: Rich coffee and chocolate, grows more intense the warmer the beer gets.

T: The chocolate and coffee are here with a definite lingering sweetness. Heavy bittering hops initially which evolve into the sweeter flavors. Alcohol warming and fruit flavors come out with warming. A decadent group of well-balanced flavors.

M: Medium/full body. Slightly thick & heavy for a stout. Lingering bittersweetness. Mild carbonation.

D: So delicious, worthy of more than one. A sipping beer due to higher abv, but a beer I could (and did) have more than one of.

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Photo of benito
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Old Rasputin is a black brew with mahogany highlights around the edges and a complex bouquet that mixes a clear alcohol presence with citrus, brown sugar, and tobacco. It's most pronounced flavor is its smokiness, but this doesn't overwhelm the bittersweet edge, hints of pineapple, alcohol bite, and leathery dryness. The flavors meld together in one of the most drinkable and smooth imperial stouts that I've ever had, with each sip revealing a new hint of flavor and depth.

The fruitiness (which may be an effect of my aging) does detract slightly from the overall heft of the body and the finish is just a little too watery, but the length and mix of flavors as well as the overall smoothness of this brew easily make up for those flaws.

This is a fantastic RIS and a must try beer. No wonder so many BAs before me have found a way to get their hands on this brew.

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Photo of scotorum
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought two months ago. Had a tiny sample at the North Coast booth at the Green River Brewfest in Greenfield Mass. in June, and was not impressed. Seemed too harsh. But I bought a bottle to give it a full chance.

Poured into a Samuel Smith English tulip from the 12 oz. bottle.

a: Black with a huge brown head which dissipated slowly to heavy surface foam and extensive lacing.

s: Dark malt

t: Slips right past your lips and then hits the palate with dark ashy caramel malt and bitter hops. High ABV is not evident at first until you realize it's there under the prominent malt cover. Surprisingly dry finish for such a strong stout.

m: Slick and smooth. Lighter than might be expected from the color.

o: Outstanding stout. Sexy mouthfeel, powerful dark malt/hop balance. Probably way better than anything the real Rasputin ever put in his gullet. Would certainly buy a fourpack whenever a good chance arises.
UPDATE 3/27/14: As part of my ongoing re-review of my top rated brews, I have another bottle here to check out.

a: same as before, requiring additional pours since I was using a Victory Donnybrook Stout 12 ounce English nonick this time with no extra room for the huge and stubborn tan foam head.

s: The aroma is glorious, strong chocolate and coffee notes in there.

t: Smooth is still prominent, as is black coffee and dark chocolate from the roasty Stout malts. Imperial hop bite is overshadowed by the flavor and smooth texture.

m: Same as before, wouldn't call it lighter than might be expected now, great body and just the right heft.

o: Still wows me. Not changing any rating. One of my top ten brews, and will definitely be a go-to stout.

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Photo of Nathaniel4321
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best beers on the planet. I recently had the bourbon barrel aged versions, so good. I sipped and savored. Thick and viscous, great mouth feel, good malt hop balance, chocolate notes, and coffee hints. So good.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Intensely dark burgundy-brown; almost black. Opaque even when held up to the light, with a fiery brick-red glow along the edges. The head is frothy and resilient, its color a dark, coffee-stained, cinnamon-infused beige, very reminiscent of a double capuccino. Overall, the beer would match nicely with a ski lodge.

Smell: Aroma is surprisingly subtle and subdued compared to the beer's visual impact. It is earthy and natural, with campfire-like burnt tones. The bitter combination of chocolate and coffee and sweet overtones of maple trees foreshadow the beer's complicated taste.

Taste: Wonderful! Chocolate and espresso provide the beer's foundation, covered with an intense, burnt-to-perfection malt flavor. Then there is a layer of stewed fruit-and-vegetable sweetness (especially cherries). An undercurrent of almond (specifically amaretto and marzipan) pops up now and then. Lingering finish retains roasty and nutty elements in your mouth for a long time. Amazing! This would go so well with dark wheat toast spread with Nutella, or with any dark chocolate. Might also be good with some kind of flaky pastry, like a Danish, turnover, or kringle.

Mouthfeel: Although the beer is very viscous, it is not as creamy as I expected due to its medium-sized bubbles. Probably for the best, since the lightness helps keep the beer from being too overwhelming. After you swallow and lick your lips, the beer still clings to you.

Drinkability: The high alcohol content and richness of this beer make it something that demands to be drank slowly and deliberately, but the flavor is so enchanting that it wouldn't be hard to knock back more than a few of these between dinner and bedtime.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,524 ratings.